As promised, I would like to share with you
two deleted scenes from The Unknown Elf.
These scenes are my Christmas present to all my readers. Perhaps, someday, I will refine them, or write more around them, creating some short stories in this "world" that I have created. Until then, please enjoy.
This scene comes before the tour of North Pole City,
which happens near the end of Chapter Four.
(This one gives you more of an insight into Dena's, Marie's and Clarence's characters. Not sure why I didn't include it in with the full manuscript as it's a fun little bit. But, like all good stories, some things do hit the cutting room floor. I think I didn't include this scene because I wasn't entirely sure how to make it fit with what was already there.This scene is between Dena and Marie)
"Um, Dena?" Marie hesitated.
"What is it, Marie? You can ask me anything about anything, or anyone for that matter, here or anywhere. I'll always be there if you need someone to talk to, even if it is in the middle of the night and the cows are all screaming for Chinese food," Dena promised.
Marie smiled at the thought of cows screaming for anything let alone Chinese. "Thanks. You’re such a nice person. There is just one thing that puzzles me. I was just wondering why your office is decorated in such a weird way."
"Oh that," Dena interrupted. "I like to have a little bit of chaos, and a bit of order in my life. You know, half one color, half another color. It shows my double personality. Most people find it unnerving. Clarence is one of them. He's always edgy around my place. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the colors I chose. He is all order and no nonsense, or fun. It’s also why I pretend to be a little ditsy sometimes," she explained. “It makes him mad.”
“Dark green and bright pink wouldn’t exactly be my choice of colors either,” Marie said. “It doesn’t exactly fit in with any of the current fads in decor, if you know what I mean.”
Dena laughed. “No, I don’t think it would, especially not with yellow chairs! To tell you the truth, the desk was originally yellow but I couldn’t stand it so I started to paint it green but ran out of paint. Pink was the only color I had left so that’s what I used. I liked the effect it had on people so much that I just left it as is.”
“Okay,” Marie replied with hesitation. “A very odd reason to keep it like that, but what ever floats your goat, I mean boat.”
“Marie, you don’t have to be so serious all of the time,” Dena said. “Life has much more to offer than that. Can you at least try to enjoy yourself today? It’s not like anyone here is out to hurt you.”
“I can try,” Marie conceded, “but on only one condition.” Dena glanced at her curiously. “Tell me how long you’ve known Clarence and if he’s always like this.”
Dena tried to collect her thoughts. She almost tripped going up the stairs. “Well, I've known him since we were both little tykes. Back then he was actually quite the prankster. Quite notorious actually, but he never got caught. I’m sure his other friends thought that that was incredibly unfair. Then something happened and he changed.
"I wasn’t there when it happened. Sandra was though. You can ask either one of them if you have a mind. I don’t feel at liberty to say anything about it. But yeah, something in him did change. He stopped pulling his pranks, became more serious.” She paused at the top of the stairs. “You know, I think I liked him better as the prankster.” She grinned.
Interview with Santa
(I hadn't quite made up my mind which "interview" with Santa this was going to go with, though it's possible that this scene was originally meant to go with the interview in the library when Marie discovers the journal. I really like this scene, though, because it tells everyone what the real meaning of Christmas is, from a non-religious view, but still holding in that religious point as well. And, to be honest, this is the epitome of what Christmas means to me. These scene is between Marie and Santa.)
"I hope that you don’t mind when I ask you about what you think Christmas means. Many elves have their own ideas about the holiday. I think that most have a similar idea, but what do you think?" Santa looked directly into her hazel eyes.
“I . . . Um, I . . . don't know. I've never had to think about that before. I guess they do." She tried to clear away her flusterlyness. Her eyes showed her confusion. What does this have to do with anything?
"I'm not necessarily a religious man, Marie, but I do have my own ideas about the season. Many people, especially big companies, see this time of year as a time to get huge amounts of money from their costumers. 'Santa' is merely an excuse to buy more toys and games." He snorted at his words.
"Most people don't see the part that is giving. They only think me, me, me. Get, get, get. Mine, mine, mine. So selfish are they. It makes me want to hide my face and cry.
"Christmas isn't necessarily just about the receiving. It's also about the giving, and people forget about that part or they just don't care. Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends. It is a time to show your love for each other in ways you normally wouldn't.
"I am who I am because there are a few out there who actually believe in the true spirit of Christmas. It is they who keep the real spirit alive. I give because I love everyone on this Earth. Most people don't see that. Most people don’t believe.
"Marie, don't let anyone make you forget what Christmas means to you. It is as important as any religion. If you lose your beliefs you lose your love. It has to be a year-round thing. Do you understand?”
She shook her head, trying to sort out everything that he had said. It made sense, but it pushed what she believed, or didn’t yet believe. “I don’t know what I believe about Christmas. I had never given it much thought at all.”
He smiled understandingly. “It’s not easy, living away from everything that you have ever known. Believe it or not, there are actually quite a few elves and humans who don’t know for themselves either. It takes time.” He got up from his chair and came around to stand by her. His large hand fell on her shoulder.
I’m not an angel, Santa. I’m nowhere near to being an angel. I've done things and seen things that don’t exactly leave me feeling very proud. I really don’t even know why you let me stay here.
And, as an added bonus, here's another scene that I left out and didn't share with any of the other bloggers doing my blog tour.
(I cut this scene out because I didn't want to detract from the rest of the story. This was supposed to come at the end, when Marie is telling everyone about her past. I decided to cut it and changed the ending for something else that I think works better. I think this section felt too wordy for me and I didn't want to go through the trouble of changing it to a flashback since it would be going over some of the things we'd already gone over earlier. But, for those who were wondering what happened before and after Marie was shot off the roof in the preface, here is her explanation. Obviously some things have changed since she knows how to use her abilities, and some of the events of the escape changed as well. In this scene, Marie is speaking primarily to Clarence, though Dena, Rachel, and Santa are there as well. I think Dovan was supposedly shipped out at this point. I like the ending I put in the book better.)
"I spent a lot of time in there, reevaluating myself. I wasn’t who I thought I was. Everything my parents had ever said, everything I had ever known deep down came pelting my mind. I knew exactly what he planned on using me for, some sideshow freak, but there was nothing I could do. I didn’t know how to use my abilities and when I tried to use them nothing happened.
"Maybe it was because I was watched like a bug under a magnifying glass, until Dovan decided that there was no way to escape. I wouldn’t do anything for him even if it meant not using my gifts to get away. I inhibited myself. Even when it seemed like he had stopped watching me I knew he was still there.
"I’m not sure if my lack of cooperation made him flip or what but it soon became apparent that he had lost his sanity. On the very rare occasions when he’d come to gloat over me he would get a wild look in his eye and mutter to himself.
"One day, I overheard him talking to himself about his childhood and how he would get even. I had no idea who or what he was talking about. I only know that it had something to do with Christmas. He decided that if he couldn’t get to his victim I would serve instead but he had to have everything done in just the right times.
"I learned a fear that I had never felt before and hope that no other has to feel. It was like every turn presented death or worse. I was starving in both body and spirit, fearing for my life. I knew that if I did not get out soon I would die so I explored my prison.
"I found a place near the pipes where the wall was decaying. I suppose the continual contact of rancid water had weakened it. The cement was brittle. I knew this was the only way I could get out so I started digging, using the only tools I had, my hands and fingernails.
"The work went slowly but I finally broke through the thick wall, leaving a tiny hole. My hands were scabbed-over pulp for my troubles but somehow I managed to enlarge the hole, bit by bit.
"I always prayed that the pipes would hide the defect from my uncle. I don’t know if he ever did see the hole or not. He was insane enough to not notice, or so I hoped.
"The night after I had made the whole big enough to squeeze through I made my escape. My hole led to a corridor. From there, it was easy to find the stairs. I had to pass my uncle’s door, but he was too busy plotting his revenge.
"I was almost outside when I heard his footsteps behind me. I turned to face him. I smelt alcohol on his breath. In his hand was a .35 caliber pistol. I bolted. I knew he was out for blood and that nothing would stop him from getting it.
"He tried to block my path, giving me only a set of stairs that led to the roof for escape. I took them three at a time, trying to outdistance him. The stairs led to a hallway with a window at one end. It was the only way I had to get on the roof.
"I ran as fast as I could on the loose gravel that I found out there. I only stopped to save myself from falling over the edge. The building was taller than I had thought. It was over fifty feet to the ground and I was afraid of heights. I heard the sharp report of gunfire as I turned around. The bullet hit me in the chest, pushing me over the edge. He didn’t come after me and I do not remember landing.
"When I came to I found that I was far from the warehouse. Someone had found me and saved my life. I don’t know who it was but I’m sure that I will meet up with him or her again. When I do I will thank them for saving my life. Soon after that I took to roaming. I didn't care where I went as long as I didn’t see him again.
"Somehow I made my way to a deserted white ocean of snow, somewhere near Canada. I was crawling by then and my soul was freezing in the cold. I collapsed and couldn't move because my strength and hope was gone. I guess I was carried on the wind's wings because then next thing I knew I was on an icy plain where there had been trees before.
"I called for help as long as I could, until my voice ran dry. I gave up any hope and started to drift away. The ghosts of the plains carried me toward their realm. The next thing I knew I was looking into the most wonderful face I had ever seen. I thought I was dead. It was my mother.
"She only stayed for what seemed a little while, holding me in her arms. It was so peaceful there that I fell into a dreamless sleep. I don't know how much time passed after that. When I woke I was here, staring into the eyes of someone who at first looked like the monster I had escaped from. It was the happiest moment of my life finding out that you weren’t who I thought you were.”